Asked Questions

Get answers to commonly asked questions.

Who can join your team?

We mainly recruit London-based university students and recent graduates aged 18-30 years old. Our volunteers gain experience and training as they work on real-world consulting projects alongside professionals. Further information can be found here:

If you are an experienced professional willing to continue your career with us, please visit:

What will happen once I submit an application?

We carefully review each online application and invite promising applicants to attend an individual interview. These interviews usually last about 45-60 minutes.

Subsequently, we sometimes invite successful candidates to attend a group case interview, where they tackle a business case-study taken from a real-life scenario. These interviews usually last about an hour and involve groups of 4-6 candidates. They allow us to see how our candidates work as part of a team.

Through this recruitment process, we collect as much information as possible about each candidate and assess their compatibility with our programme. If successful, you will receive an email to discuss the project(s) we can possibly offer to you in the next project cycle. We welcome you to discuss your expectations and goals with us before accepting an offer. As a volunteer, you are welcome to leave at any point.

Please note that we make every effort to create opportunities for as many volunteers as possible.

I have no work experience. Can I join?

No previous work experience is required to join our team. First Step Consulting primarily aims to help young people break the vicious 'no experience, no job' cycle. 

Learn about our programme and submit your application at your earliest convenience.

I am not living in London. Can I join?

At the moment we recruit volunteers based in London only. This is because our volunteers must be able to conveniently attend their weekly team meetings in Central London throughout their projects.

We work to set up branches in other major cities as early as possible. Please continue to check our website for latest updates.

Can international students on a student visa join?

All university students and recent graduates are welcome to apply to join our team. However, we would like to underline that international students, who are on Tier 4 Student visa, are not allowed to work for more than 20 hours per week in the UK during their studies. This is strictly prohibited by law. 

Voluntary work counts towards the 20 hours per week working limit and it is your responsibility to make sure that you do not exceed this. In case you join our programme, the expected workload will be approximately 10-12 hours a week and we ask our volunteers to spend no more than 15 hours on their projects in any week.

Can I join while studying full-time?

Yes. Our projects are designed to fit around the time constraints of a university student. The expected workload is about 10-12 hours per week. The project cycles run alongside the academic terms as well as in the summer with the exception of the summer examination period (from early May to mid-June).

Can I join while doing an internship or a summer job?

Yes, but please remember that all our pro bono consultants are expected to spend a minimum of 10 hours a week to contribute to their projects and meet their colleagues once a week in Central London.

Can I join while working full-time?

Yes, but please remember that all our pro bono consultants are expected to spend a minimum of 10 hours a week to contribute to their projects and meet their colleagues once a week in Central London.

When and where are the weekly team meetings?

The team meetings are organised collectively at the beginning of each week, depending on the availability of each individual team member. In instances where team members are not available during business hours, we meet in the evening or at the weekend. The meetings take place in Central London.

How many people will be working on my project?

In a standard project, there are 6-8 volunteers who work with our core team members and we manage every project professionally.

Will you ask me to provide or sign any legal documents?

Yes. We are legally required to see your proof of identity (e.g. your passport) and make a copy of it. If you are currently a university student, we also require you to provide an official document issued by your university to verify your student status, such as a certificate of attendance letter.

Finally, we ask our pro bono consultants to sign a confidentiality agreement before they start working on their projects. Protecting the privacy and confidentiality of our clients is a top priority and we take this seriously.

Do you currently accept applications?

Yes. Applications are open year round, but we encourage you to apply at your earliest convenience so that we can discuss your application in detail. 

There are three project cycles per year, starting in late September, January and June. The duration of a standard project is usually around ten weeks.

Will I get paid?

As a not-for-profit social enterprise, our guiding mission is to help volunteers of all backgrounds gain career-enhancing work experience. In order to achieve our mission, we need to maintain the autonomy to select, train, and work with volunteers of our own choosing. 

This is why we intentionally do not ask our clients to budget for the remuneration of our volunteers — meaning that all of our pro bono consultants work on a voluntary basis. 

If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us.

Will I meet my client in person?

This depends on the project and the availability of our clients. When we serve overseas clients, we may not arrange any physical meetings. Yet all our volunteers directly collaborate with their clients, even if this is achieved primarily by means of online communication.

Together with client teams, we often organise workshops, presentations and project update meetings during which all volunteers are invited to make an equal contribution.

Can I choose what project I’m on?

We make every effort to offer a choice of multiple projects to each successful candidate in order to try to match their preferences and specific project ambitions. Despite this, it may not always be possible for each candidate to be assigned to their first-choice project.

What makes your business different?

First Step Consulting has developed a pioneering model of business consulting that is the first of its kind. 

Our team of innovation consultants train and lead university students and recent graduates, who bring a beginner's mindset and fresh outlook to our projects. Together we help an eclectic mix of clients look at business challenges from a young person's perspective and find new avenues for growth.

Our team is therefore uniquely positioned to support clients looking to connect with young people and grow faster in the youth market.

What services do you offer?

We help our clients understand and captivate young consumers, tap into the creativity of young people to create iconic products and marketing campaigns, attract and retain young talent, and start new ventures in the youth market. Please visit the following page to learn more about our services:

Our range of services includes:

—   Growth Discovery
—   Product Innovation
—   Youth Marketing
—   Employer Branding
—   Venture Building

Additionally, we offer our research expertise as a standalone service. Our research services are suited for organisations of all shapes and sizes. 

Please note: Research is integral to all our consulting work.

What type of organisations do you work with?

Our one-of-a-kind approach has made us a natural partner for companies looking to connect with young people and grow faster in the youth market. We mainly serve clients from the following sectors:

▪︎   Consumer
▪︎   Retail
▪︎   Finance
▪︎   Technology
▪︎   Gaming
▪︎   Media
▪︎   Telecoms
▪︎   Sports
▪︎   Hospitality
▪︎   Education
▪︎   Healthcare
▪︎   Energy

On the other hand, our research services are suited for organisations of all shapes and sizes across a full range of industries.

Who manages your projects?

Our core team members professionally manage every project and closely collaborate with clients to assure quality throughout the entire process. They work directly on every assignment, train and lead our volunteers, and create a rigorous foundation for each project. Meet our colleagues:

How do your volunteers contribute to projects?

Our volunteers are ambitious undergraduate and postgraduate students, recent graduates, and MBA/PhD candidates. After carefully selecting and training our volunteers, we assign them a project for which they are best suited. Our volunteers dedicate a minimum of 10-12 hours per person per week to their assigned project. In every project, they carry out targeted research under our close supervision, help our experts understand young people, and address client challenges from a fresh point of view.

Do you serve organisations based outside the UK?

Yes. Using modern means of communication, we are able to effectively serve clients across the world. Our team speaks more than ten different languages. Meet our colleagues:

What previous projects have you completed?

We have successfully delivered over 75 projects. To see the wide range of projects we have previously worked on, please take a look at our client case studies:

Why do you not disclose the names of your clients?

We do not disclose any reference which may reveal the identity of our clients in order to protect their confidentiality. We usually sign strict non-disclosure agreements before the start of our assignments. First Step Consulting has never experienced a breach of confidentiality. For more information, see:

We want to get more information. Who should we contact?

We would love to hear from you. Please follow the link below to start a conversation:

What is your mission?

We help ambitious university students and recent graduates get a better start in their professional life by gaining career-enhancing experience and an insight into the working world. Our volunteers work with us on challenging business consultancy projects and develop transferable skills valued by employers.

At the same time, we go to great lengths to deliver measurable results for our clients and serve them with integrity. We provide clients with pragmatic, evidence-based advice and always feel a responsibility to foster their success.

How many people have completed your programme?

Since our first project cycle in early 2015, we have rigorously selected, trained and guided over five hundred volunteers through our programme. See what our volunteers say about their experience with First Step Consulting:

Where are you based?

We are currently operating from London, United Kingdom.

How can I publish articles on FSC Insights?

We are happy to cooperate with all inquisitive university students and recent graduates who are proficient in English. To send your application, please visit:

How can we get in touch?

For general enquiries and more information, please fill out our contact form:
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